tv Democracy Now LINKTV September 17, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT
09/17/14 09/17/14 09/17/14 09/17/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i said before, these american forces will not have a combat mission. we will not good dragged into another ground war in iraq. >> if there are threats, i would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of u.s. military ground forces. it's less than a week after president obama vowed not to send round trips to iraq, general martin dempsey admits they may be needed.
as the house votes on whether to arm rebels in syria today, we will speak with congress member jim mcdermott of washington. then, to the scottish vote for independence. >> ♪ it clashes with the sunsettet >> that is legendary british musician billy bragg singing about scottish independence and his song "take down the union jack." today, he joins us in the studio for debate against historian sam wetherell on thursday scottish independence vote. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the most senior u.s. military officer has said u.s. ground troops may be needed in iraq as part of the obama ministrations offensive against the islamic
state. general martin dempsey testified before the senate armed services committee tuesday. >> as i said in my statement, my view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. i believe that will prove true. but if it fails to be true and if there are threats to the united states, then i would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of u.s. military ground forces. >> his remarks can less than a week after president obama told the nation "we will not get dragged into another ground war in iraq." obama is expected to visit headquarters today to discuss strategy in iraq and syria. the house is expected to vote today on a request from obama authorization to arm and train moderate syrian rebels. we will speak with congress member jim mcdermott later in the broadcast. tuesday senate hearing was repeatedly interrupted by peace activist from codepink who rose
to protest u.s. intervention in iraq and syria at least four times in the first hour. this is cofounder medea benjamin differencing -- speaking to chuck hagel. >> [inaudible] >> i will ask you nicely to please -- >> [indiscernible] >> thank you. i will ask you for the last time. medea -- >> open the way for isil. u.s. military will not be -- >> [indiscernible] >> we had 13 years of war already. >> the conflict among factions in syria has been intensifying ahead of possible u.s. strikes against islamic state fighters there. two days of syrian government airstrikes that killed at least 40 people in homs province.
the syrian-based observatory for human rights says at least six children are among the dead. islamic state fighters announced they had shut down a searing military aircraft in the northern city of raqqa. in idlib, at least 34 children are said to have died after receiving tainted doses of the measles vaccine. the syrian rebel coalition to which was running the program, said supporters of the bashar al-assad regime may have tampered with the vaccines. they say the doses were supplied by unicef and the world health organization by way of the turkish government. the u.s. army whistleblower chelsea manning has weighed in on the debate over isis. manning, who served as an analyst in iraq, wrote in "the guardian" -- "isis cannot be defeated by bombs and bullets." she suggests a strategy of containing isis and allowing them to lose power and popularity over time. chelsea manning is currently serving a 35 your sentence for
leaking classified information to wikileaks. a year ago, manning announced shouldn't of eyes as a woman and planned to seek hormone therapy. last month, the aclu threatened to sue the pentagon for withholding treatment for her transition, saying o -- president obama is warning a record outbreak of ebola could claim hundreds of thousands of lives. speaking tuesday, obama announced the deployment of equipment and 3000 troops to west africa, where more than 2500 people have died. >> at the request of the liberian government, we will establish a military command center to support civilian efforts across the region. similar to our response after the haiti earthquake. it will be commanded by general williams, commander of our armed -- army forces in africa. he just arrived today and is now on the ground in liberia. our forces are going to bring expertise and command and
control in the just ask and engineering -- logistics and engineering. our armed services are better at that than any organization on earth. clocks a u.s. doctor who survived ebola has criticized lack of global response to the crisis. dr. kent brantley recovered after being flown home from liberia in receiving one of a handful of doses of external drugs. he is knowledged the ebola crisis received relatively it'll coverage until he and another u.s. missionary fell ill. >> this unprecedented outbreak received very the notice from the international community until the events of mid july would nancy rifle and i became in fact did. since that time, there is been intense media attention and increased awareness the situation on the ground in west africa. the response to date, however, has remained sluggish and unacceptably out of step with the scope and size of the problem that is now before us.
clocks according to the world health organization, both total number of ebola cases in the number of people killed have roughly doubled over the past couple of weeks, with more than 5000 total cases. the agency announced about $1 billion will be needed to contain the crisis, which it called unparalleled in modern times. defense secretary chuck hagel has it knowledged the u.s. could improve its treatment of family members whose loved ones are held hostage by the islamic state. his remarks come after the mother of james foley, who was executed by isis, criticized the u.s. treatment of her son's case, saying officials told her she could face prosecution if she tried to raise ransom to free her son. responding to new hampshire democratic senator jeanne shaheen, hagel defended the u.s. policy of not paying ransoms to terrorist, but it knowledged room for improvement in other areas. clocks i think we could and should maybe revisit some of these practices. our national security policy directive is rate clear on
ransom. that is been in place for many, many years through different administrations. not suggesting we change that -- >> i appreciate that. >> but maybe there are some ways we could do a little better with as far as dealing with families and the human part of this. >> the obama administration has announced a delay in its most sweeping effort today to combat climate change. the environmental protection agency is extending the public comment period for another 45 days. the plan has faced major opposition from industry lobbyists and buzz republican lawmakers and her democratic counterparts from: using states. the delay comes one week before delegates and protesters from around the world gather in new york city for a u.n. summit and people's climate march against global warming.
former president bill clinton has been caught on tape agreeing that is really premised are benjamin netanyahu is "not the guy" to reach a long-term peace to with the palestinians. at a democratic fundraiser and i will, c-span recorded clinton defending his own record in past negotiations as he chatted with a member of the public who criticize netanyahu. >> if we don't force them -- >> i agree. but in 2000 [indiscernible] >> i agree. >> netanyahu is not the guy. >> though clinton's comments differ sharply from the public stances of his wife a potential democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton, who is defended netanyahu. police in utah are facing questions over the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old african-american man. therein hunt was shot dead
outside a restaurant in saratoga springs last wednesday. utah county authorities said he was shot after lunging and officers with a samurai-style sword. the rental edwards, an attorney for hunts family, told the having to post like that autopsy results hundred effect claim. >> it indicates he was shot six times. none of the shots entered from the front. the one that killed him hit him right in the middle of the back. the others were in his shoulder, two in his leg, one in his elbow, and one in his hand. so it begs the question, how is it that someone ends up shot in the back if he is shot while lunging toward the officers? >> on monday, authorities changed their account, telling "the guardian" hunt allegedly lunged at officers outside of that goes after several dozen yards from where he ultimately died. authorities also said the two
police officers involved had not been interviewed yet, delay which the family's attorney called honest encumbrance of all. one of the officers was to be interviewed yesterday and went tomorrow, more than a week after the shooting. hunt's mother susan says -- surveillance footage from the scene has been obtained by authorities. the national football league's minnesota vikings have reversed course and barn star running back adrian peterson from all team activities following an outcry over his indictment for child abuse. the vikings previously reinstated peterson after benching him for a gain. he is accused of beating his four-year-old son with a tree branch. the controversy profit the radisson hotel chain to suspend its sponsorship of the team on monday. the vikings team says it has placed peterson on the exempt commissioner's permission list prevents them from participating in team activities. . president obama has formally
withdrawn following his opposition over his ties to the legal defense of imprisoned journalist and former black panther on the arab and tomorrow. the senate rejected the nomination of debo adegbile in march. in an interview with the having to post, he said the obama administration did not expect such scrutiny over that case -- and the john dean catherine t macarthur foundation has announced its list of 20 when jean grant winners for 2014. among the grantees are filmmaker joshua oppenheimer and aijen
poo, director of the national domestic workers alliance. the winnerthe winners will recee $625,000 to spend however they choose. to see our past interviews, you can go to democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turns the latest on the plan to expand will intense -- to fight the militants. >> these american forces will not have a combat mission. we will not get dragged into another ground war in iraq. >> president obama speaking a week ago, vowing not to send ground troops into iraq to fight the islamic state. on tuesday, the most senior u.s. military officer revealed ground
troops may be needed. general martin dempsey, chair of the u.s. military's joint chiefs of staff, testified before the senate. >> our military advisors will help the iraq's conduct campaign planning, range for just except for an coordinate our coalition activities. if we reached the point where i believe our advisors should a company iraq troops on attacks against specific isil targets, i will recommend that to the president. as i said in my statement, my view at this point is that this coalition is appropriate way forward. i believe that will prove true. but if it fails to be to and iff there are threats to the united states, i would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of u.s. military ground forces. >> jerome martin dempsey -- general martin dempsey. president obama is expected to visit headquarters today to discuss strategy in iraq and syria.
meanwhile, congress is voting this week on a request from obama authorization arm and train syrian rebels. the house is expected to vote on the issue today. we go to washington, d.c. where we're joined by congress member jim mcdermott. in 1991, he voted against the persian gulf war and in 2002 he voted against a bill to authorize president george w. bush to use force against iraq. he traveled to iraq in both 1991 and 2002. welcome back to democracy now! how will you vote on arming syrian rebels? >> let's put this in perspective. george bush ripped the top off pandora's box of problems in the middle east. the president has been trying his best to stuff the problems back into the box and get them solved. he has tried it in iraq and afghanistan.
this situation, which has evolved from that original decision by bush way back in 2001, is one that is very complicated. it is not black and white. it is very difficult. the president has shown what george bush failed to show, which is remarkable reserve in how quickly he jumped to a decision. what he is doing, i've serious doubts about, and there are lot of questions you could raise about. i don't think it is because he hasn't thought about it. i probably will not be supportive of it because to me, we're doing only one part. let's arm a few syrian rebels. but that doesn't say what is when it happened on the 11th of december when that expires and congress is back in a lame-duck session and we have to face this whole issue in one bite. i think the real problem was,
they're trying to rush something through here to get us out so we can run for reelection. that is not the way to conduct public policy. >> who are these rebels that president obama wants to arm? >> that is one of my questions. i think it is very difficult to tell. we've had people come over to the united states and say, i'm the free syrian army or i represent the free syrian army. we sell the same sort of people telling us they're the free iraqi army and they were going to take over and if we just came and gave them a little help, why, they could throw out saddam. i don't know who they are. that is gwen to be one of the questions, how do they said who you hand arms to -- vet who you hand arms to? we have done a before and suddenly, there used against us. one of my concerns is, how do you vet the people you're going to get arms to? >> what kinds of answers has the
president given you? you are a democrat. you are in the same party as the president. but it looks like right now what we're seeing in congress in today's vote is there may progressive democrats like you are asking president obama some serious questions. how is the white house responding? >> they tried to respond to this, but as i said, it is -- this is not black and white. it is about 90 shades of gray. it is very hard for the president to say exactly. he says intelligence people have helped him and in a which groups are where and so forth. i don't know that is true or not. i have to trust his judgment he is doing what he thinks is best for the american people. i don't have any question about whether the president is doing his absolute fast at doing this. i just think it is a very, very difficult thing to do. he has tried. >> the senate armed services hearing committee, new hampshire
questioned federal -- general dempsey. she expressed doubt the redskin -- can be without deploying ground forces. >> not sure how this will happen without our train special operators on the ground. but i appreciate that you have said you not rule this out. >> i have not been terms of recommendations. >> thank you. has the president ruled it out? >> at this point, his's stated policy is we will not have u.s. ground troops and drugs attack. >> included embedded on the ground jacob >> correct. he is told me to come back on a case-by-case basis. >> your response? >> there clearly is a need for some troops on the ground. one of the president's goals has been to get his allies, our allies to come forward and
commit. one of the things that is troubling is the turks and the jordanians and everyone who you might think would want -- even the brits are still sort of sitting back on their hand. it is hard to know where these folks are going to come from. you can do a lot from 30,000 feet, but you ultimately have to have people on the ground. we found that out in iraq. rumsfeld said we could get it done with 95,000 people, and we could not. shinseki was right. it would've have taken 300,000 americans on the ground to control the situation in iraq. so if you make the misjudgment on this, you're going to wind up with some really bad situations that i think general dempsey is being very honest, again, a military man. if you say, is it possible? he has to say, yes, it is
possible. at the president's position at this point is, there will be no troops on the ground. but the president wants to come back to the american people and say, i believe our national interest are at stake here and we should put troops on the ground, that is something that clearly, he could do it some point. but at this point, his position is, we can do it without that. i think you have to at least respect the fact he is trying his best to keep us out of a third war. we've had afghanistan. we had iraq. and now we're sort of back into iraq and now syria is opening up. you have to ask yourself, at what point do the americans admit that there are some things we cannot solve by military power? that is the real issue here. >> which goes to question about saudi arabia. if it is not solved militarily, if it wasn't the option of first recourse, what could be done now go and what about u.s. relationship with saudi arabia
and its role in arming groups like the islamic state? >> well, one of the things you ask yourself as you look at the situation, how is it being funded. one of the places their peers to be a source of money for i us -- isis is the oil fields of northern syria whereisi's smuggling oil into turkey and turkey is paying them for that. there is also questions about whether money is coming from the saudi's or the kuwaitis or the emirates or whatever so our allies could turn off the money and that would make this thing become very, very difficult for isis. they would have no way to pay the salaries of their soldiers and pay for weapons and all the things that they are now paying for if the money was shut off. so there's some real question about whether or not turkey could help tomorrow by stopping
the smuggling of oil stuff that would mean the price of oil in southern turkey would go up about two thirds because they're getting a for about one third of the cost. there is a lot of questions here . the turks have 47 people held hostage. the third bothose kinds of imagy powerful and very upsetting. no political leader once to bring that down on his house or her house. ask is this an outright failure of diplomacy? yet a large military-industrial complex in the united states. when the military is galvanized and we know what directions the u.s. goes, but is it a failure of diplomacy? could more be done on pressuring u.s. allies? >> well, i think the diplomacy question, if you were to pick a
place where i think there should have been a change, maliki should've been gone a long time ago. the u.s. government from time to time picks the wrong person to be the leader of a country. involves themselves in the election and the whole selection process. maliki was our selection. we backed him all the way. even when the sunnis were telling us, he is tied to iran. and we're not going to be in a government with a guide was tied to iran. we're dealing with 3000 years of history here. they're not going to get into a government or they feel the iranians hold the strong hand. but we stuck with maliki way too far into this process. we should have brought about -- if we're going to use our power diplomatically, we should've brought about our power to help get him out of office a long time ago. we now have a government that is less than a week old. or about a week old. it does not have a defense minister or interior minister,
which are the two most important ministries. only talk about we're going to go in and use them as our ground troops, it may work, but at this point, it has lots of questions on the table. >> i want to turn to a recent opinion piece by bruce ackerman in "the new york times." in it, he writes that some senators and representatives would -- your response to this, congress never mcdermott, and what president obama says about going to congress? >> i disagree with the president on that. when george bush was hurtling
toward iraq and saying he at all of the power to do it because he was commander-in-chief and all that stuff, we ultimately brought him to the point where he called for a vote in the house. i did not like the way the vote came out, but from a democratic standpoint and from a democracy standpoint, it was absolutely what must happen. congress must say, yes, mr. president, we back you when you go into iraq will stop i think the president is in -- president obama is in the same situation. he is running on very thin ice if he says he can go and do whatever you once and not have us ultimately take a vote. it may not be -- he won't get 100%, but he ought to be willing to stand up and say to the congress, i want you to vote to support me. and let the chips fall where they may. that is what a democracy is. this program is democracy now! that is the essence of democracy. we do not have a king.
we have somebody who comes to the people's representatives -- i am one of them. i represent 700,000 people in seattle. we have a right to have our voice heard on this issue. whether we disagree or agree is another issue. but it must -- you must have the process work, otherwise, we essentially are running a one-man government. i hate that idea. >> professor ackerman also wrote -- do you share that view? >> let's not talk about a whole bunch of things that -- i mean, george bush and the people in the white house surrounding him wrote him a most that made it possible for him to do things that i am appalled as american that we were torturing people and with the secret prisons all over the place and that we were waterboarding and all that. and to no effect.
i mean, did he and the war? no, he at a most eight years of george bush doing it. it did not work. when you look at it, you have to say -- excuse me, about four years of george bush. we had that period and he was in pretty much whatever he wanted after he got the agreement from us that he could go into iraq. i think the president has to think very carefully about acting without the support of the people, the congress. we are the people's representatives, and that is what he is to keep in mind at every instance. drugs congress member of german, i would ask you about veterans, something that has fallen off the front pages of the newspapers and the terrible care, the long waits that many
of them have gotten or not gotten threat the v.a. hospitals. can you talk about legislation you're introducing? were talking about possible boots on the ground, what about soldiers who have come home here? >> i was a psychiatrist in the vietnam war and i saw casualties, which is why i have been very reluctant to go to war and less there's a real reason to do it because i know what happens to people -- unless there's a real reason to do it because i know what happens to people in the come home. we planned for bullets and meals and tanks, but we never plan for what happens to people when they come home. the question of how we receive back the people who have served as bravely is a real tragedy because we knew we were going to have all these people coming back. we could have anticipated all the posttraumatic stress disorder come all the suicides. we could have anticipated that if we had been willing to think about it. but when you're going to war,
nobody wants to think that there is one to be any problem when they come home. and those of us who know that realize. i think it needs to be a national commission established in which the president calls together, not only military people, but civilians, about how do we bring our troops home? the native american tribes, all kinds of other cultures on the face of the earth, have had ceremonies in which they bring their soldiers home and reintegrate them into society in which they live. you cannot take some ordinary kid from the streets of chicago or buffalo or anywhere else and train them to be a soldier, to go out and be a killer, then bring him back and in 20 minutes, he lands in new york or lands at one of the airports and suddenly, his mind has to be flipped back to being normalflil again. that is not possible. other cultures knew that. we have not done very well at that.
we need to think about that. the other thing is about having enough physicians. we have rotc programs. we prepare how many officers we're going to need, but we don't think about how many doctors we're going to need to take care of them. that is why proposed something called "our docs." giving free scholarships to doctors who would be willing to practice for five years in the veterans a administration. we would then have the primary care physicians we need for this country. >> speaking as a true physician, jim mcdermott, is a psychiatrist. congress member, last question. i want to ask about the climate change crisis. next week, world gathers -- world leaders gather next week. earlier this year, we would introduce legislation to reduce carbon dr. levels and raise the cost of climate pollution. briefly, can you explain what
you proposed? >> this last trick we had a conference in seattle and henry paulson came out for a carbon tax. i thought to myself, when henry paulson and jim mcdermott agree on something, it is about time to do it. we have got to take a national stand to protect ourselves, but also to take our leadership position in the world. i think you're going to see a carbon tax debated in the next congress. i think it is time for us to face the fact that the ice cap is melting and the antarctic is also melting and we cannot have the effects of climate change without turned his disruptions to our country and to the world. i think it is going to be a matter of debate in general. ask more than 170 activists from across the united states are
traveling to new york in the people's climate change -- train to attend the climate march on sunday. they have been running together on an amtrak train from san francisco. democracy now! dennis monahan joined near denver, colorado and spoke with a participant. >> as a grandmother, for me, this is the most important thing i could ever be doing. i will be joining the indigenous block when we get to new york and their indigenous people coming in from all over the world. so look for us. we will be there. we will be strong. we will be powerful. we are the people on the front lines. from the tar sands to what is going on in the amazon, peru, everywhere. >> that was penny on the climate change -- train.
jim mcdermott, thank you for joining us. democracy now! will be covering the major protest on sunday. you can go to democracynow.org to watch the protest and to see and hear the interviews. also tomorrow, we will spend the hour with naomi klein, out with her new book called "this changes everything." congress member mcdermott, thank you so much. when we come back, billy bragg on the scottish independence vote coming up tomorrow. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to scotland, which is set to vote thursday on whether to become independent from the united kingdom for the first time since 1707. the question will ask simply, should scotland been independent country? hold show the referendum is too close to call -- the polls show the referendum is too close to call. a final plea on monday, british prime minister david cameron warned voters in a speech in aberdeen that separation would be a painful divorce. >> it is my duty to be clear about the likely consequences of
a "yes" vote. independence would not be a trial separation. it would be a painful divorce. so this is our message to the people of scotland. we want you to stay. head, heart, and soul, we want you to stay. please, don't mix up the temporary and the permanent. please don't think, i'm frustrated with politics right now, so i will walk out the door and never come back. if you don't like me, i won't be here forever. if you don't like this government, it won't last forever. but if you leave the united kingdom, that will be forever. >> if scott's foe to seed thursday, britain would lose an estimated 5.3 million residents, more than a percent of its population. the campaign backing the no vote is known as better together. the pro-independence campaign is led by alex salmond, the head of the scottish national party.
this is sam and campaigning. >> yes does mean yes. i agree that once-in-a-lifetime gratuity for people in scotland -- he says there's no going back. recently, we had a hugely successful commonwealth, 70 one independent nations in territory around the commonwealth gathering in glasgow, generally regarded as one of the most successful in history. most of these countries became independent the last 50 years. yes, they're not going back because they're flourishing and working as independent countries. nobody goes back. this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the evidence is more more people in scotland -- >> of the referendum passes,3 scholars independence take effect march 2016, followed in may by its first parliamentary election. england would have to move its four nuclear armed summaries based on the west coast of scotland, though it is unclear where the ravens would go since
it lacks a deep water port far enough from populated areas. the scottish government has also said it would negotiate for membership in the european union. for more where join in new york i billy bragg, singer-songwriter and activist. his song, "take down the union jack" supported scottish independence as far back as 2002. his piece published tuesday is headlined "scottish nationalism and british nationalism are not the same." in london, sam wetherell is with us, a store in the late 20th century britain and freelance writer. he was recently in scotland in events of the referendum, were the yes campaign's presence was pervasive. his latest piece is "exit stage right: the case against scottish independence erg."
billy bragg, what are you for scottish independence? >> you have to see it as a rejection of the way westminster does politics. over the last 30 years, there's been a convergence between the conservative party and the labour party to situation where labor will promise to implement the same spending program as the government. that is not really a choice for our democracy. the scottish national party are offering a different way of doing things, more localized way of doing things. i think this is a pretty good response to globalization. as our economies become broken down, people search for some kind of identity within their own national borders. it is an aspiration for scots and has been for many years. they have devolved power from london, but they want their own
spending powers. they want fiscal autonomy. this could have been an option. the scots wanted a third option, which people referred to as devolution max which means fiscal autonomy. the government refused. it could be very close. >> sam wetherell, why are you opposed to the vote tomorrow, to scottish independent? >> i think there's increasingly a sense for independence and automatic position of people who are progressive or people who are on the left-wing side of a political spectrum. i occupy the position myself, and i am very much against independence for many reasons, but i think are progressive and left-wing in and of themselves. i think they're making what i call a fast impact in signing on the scottish nationalism as a solution to many political problems in britain.
on the one hand, they have hitched their star to a nationalist movement, which often carries a lot of the uncomfortable baggage that nationalism has. perhaps more important, and this is something not discussed as much in these debates, scotland will become the world's newest petro state. basically, the future political economy if goes independent, will depend on taxing large oil companies who are drilling in the north sea. a lot of that money now goes to london. alex salmond claims 91% will be used in scotland. i am anxious for both environmental and political reasons about scotland's high dependence on oil, both in the sense of being in terminal arguments, but the political -- in terminal arguments, but political arguments, having large oil cavities such as the big swiss company that owns entirely the oil refinery in
scotland, poses a big risk. they are the have a lot of influence in scotland. it is to have language reprise under an independent scotland. -- increase under independent scotland. there is the underlying argument this would be a nice hotel westminster elite. according to a recent report, scotland's financial services sector could end up being as much as 12 times its own current gdp in an independent state, which would leave scotland extremely vulnerable both to the same pressures that destroyed the british economy and global economy in 2008 but also to big banking elites that i think will be problematic political force in scotland. i think an independent scotland at best would be reactionary and at worst, both reactionary and a functioning and catastrophic. >> do you think it would invite
iraq? do you think it would take part in illegal invasions of countries? all of the things you said, the british state does. the real point about what is happening in scotland is not really about nationalism, but self-determination. it is about the right of people to decide what sort of economy they want to live in, what sort of state they want to live in. perhaps the greatest thing the british people ever achieved is our national health service, free health care. and that has been chipped away by conservatives. the labour party really are not committing the sort of [indiscernible] the scottish people of said they want to do things differently. our political class in westminster don't know how to do that. there's the democratic deficit. in the devolution settlement they gave the right to the scots to vote for their own parliament, england got nothing. we live in england and a very centralized state in which the city of london, because it is
the financial powerhouse of europe, has a negative effect overall on the economy of the rest of the country, is a settlement that comes after -- it seems whatever the state [indiscernible] there will be a post-devolution settlement of the scots vote no. in the english really need to declare their self-determination as well. you can't just dismiss these people as nationalists. 97% of the scottish electorate are registered to vote. can you imagine that turnout in america? the last election and u.k. was 65%. people are taking control of their future. in a globalized world or high finances -- where high finances does have too much power, this is evidence of people power. our political class don't know how to do with it. >> we will come back to this discussion but we first have to take a break. billy bragg we havebilly bragg in the studio in new york and
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are joined by billy bragg, not singing in our studio as he was singing that song a while ago -- they came out in 2002? but here to argue for scottish independence, historic vote taking place tomorrow. joining us from london right now is the historian sam wetherell. he is historian of late century -- late 20th century britain and freelance writer. it was recently in scotland in the event of the referendum. his article is called "exit
stage right: the case against scottish independence." >> one of the witness things about this referendum is promised every single political issue, billy bragg would be on the same side of the debate. i think our diagnosis of her problem that is affecting the united kingdom is similar. we both agree the u.k. is engaged in problematic, imperial excursions overseas. we both agree the westminster elite corrupt and also fight. i think we both agree the neoliberal economics view of privatization has led to growing inequality and they kind of various social problems in the u.k.. the difference between us, i don't see independence as a solution -- scottish independence as a solution to that.
i think if we are going to be as idealistic as imagining a future state for scotland, if we're going to be engaged in idealism, we can to love better than scottish nationalism -- a lot better than scottish nationalism. we can do a lot better than tainting ourselves as nationalist politics. which often belong to -- >> sam, sam, can you not seen the difference between the british national party in the scottish national party? >> of course i can. >> one's is a bit nationalist party. i object to the fact you sit there in favor of the union and tell me i am a nationalist. you are expressing british nationalism. you are indulging in the identity politics in the same with a scott nationalist are. >> i'm absolutely not engaging in identity politics in the same way as the british national party. >> no, no, not in the same way, but you are standing over the british union.
>> ok, i read your piece in "the guardian" about making exactly this point. you argue there are different forms of nationalism and not ever nationalism is the same. i finally agree that nationalism -- i fundamentally agree that nationalism is different. i support palestine wanting to be an independent state. or the irish nationalism in history. on the one hand, it is based on the political economy that will be in formerly distracted based on oil and potentially unsustainable. but it doesn't come out the same historical context of oppression and violence with other kinds of national identities which are progressive have come out of -- >> thank heavens for that. they're able to vote for their own self-determination. this is a civic process taking
place in scotland. it is not a nationalist process. we live in a relatively loose union. it is hard to explain sometimes, but they met and sometimes cannot understand the difference between britain and england because we live in a loose union. scotland as a nation. britain is a state. it has evolved over time. the idea of another break in the 21st century is part of our tradition. it is what makes our country, our state, rather, cohesive. >> well, sure, but i don't believe just because we have a president for ireland, which was entirely different political situation becoming independent, this means we should hitch ourselves on the left to scottish nationalism as a solution to political problems that i and you agree exist. the underlying reason why
scotland is having its welfare attacked by a tory government is not just problems indigenous to britain. neoliberalism is a global problem that cannot be solved by creating your own political constituencies of support and creating gated communities of political interests. >> i totally agree. the problem with westminster is neither of the main parties there seem to be offering a different way of dealing with globalization. there is the possibility for the people of scotland to find a different way through self-determination, a different way to deal with globalization. i think that is what is so exciting for those of us who believe the real issue in the 21st century is not socialism, but accountability. how do we hold those who have economic power over us to account? that is why i see the
possibilities there. the possibility of some genuine devolution for england or english parliament original families that allow us to rebalance our economy away from the reliance on the financial center of london, is a positive, progressive idea, don't you think? >> i would if it was the case. what i worry about is where is the constituency of support you would argue for in scotland? 50% will probably vote no in the referendum. you scottish labor, which share many of the same problems as labor in britain. the scottish national party am essentially wants to turn scotland into a petro state in a tax haven. where is this politics going to come from? what is in scotland just going to become essentially a giant enterprise, giant tax haven for oil companies, for banking companies? i want to talk about a
particular social logical idea in the 1980's. historians and sociologists were considering why welfare state was developed in western europe did not develop in the united states. one of the big conclusions was because it was precisely because of america's federal system. if the incentive to create a particular kind of tax haven, if you are an american state secular capital from another american state, is overwhelming. the temptation to create working conditions in one state that can undercut working conditions in another state, means basically, it is very, very hard to create the kind of welfare state their britain created in the mid 20th century. i don't think it would've been possible to create the national health service the situation which you have an independent scotland and independent britain. particularly in the current climate. >> scotland doesn't want to be taxes, a was to be norway. he was to be a north european democracy which puts people
before profit. the people of scotland, that is what they think the issue is, not alex sam anlmond or rupert murdoch, they believe they can do things in the way their parents did things and grandparents did things when they founded the welfare state. >> i want to go to the issue of nuclear weapons. if they were abolished from the territory, britain could be forced to look elsewhere for places in which to host its nuclear warheads, now based on the west coast of scotland. george galloway said scottish national party leader alex salmond's 20 to join nato -- >> you're not reading them. the danger would be the same. nuclear explosion doesn't respect even the national boundaries of alex salmond. in scotland is down to join nato
under salmond. anyone looking for the peace option is going to have to elected government in britain as a whole that will get rid of nuclear weapons. get out of military entitlements. >> that is george galloway, opposing scottish independence. billy bragg? >> is a good example of why this referendum has been healthy for britain. we have not had a debate about nuclear weapon since the 1990's. we need to debate. are the independent? she would be spending all that money and opposed cold world war? -- in a post cold world war? i think this is a healthy debate to have. >> sam wetherell, the funding of this referendum vote. can you explain who is the hind it? >> who is behind the referendum votes? >> yes, the funding of it. it has to do with the lottery.
maybe billy knows. what's the british government is behind it. what about the nukes? >> i want to talk about that. there are many things i disagree with george galloway, the mpu just played a clip -- many things i disagree. this is one thing i do agree with him. i would like to add it is very, very likely in a situation where scotland will not have its own currency will be forced into kind of quite emergency negotiations of westminster after possible independent state. the nuclear deterrent will go. i don't trust the scottish nationalist party to follow through on a particular commitment. i think it is possible but unlikely they will. and i think the chance of what billy bragg debates with a chance, very remote chance of removing nukes, that would be fantastic. while i support that, is it
worth the pact with the creation of a new nationalist oil states in britain. i would want to refer to one more thing about norway from before. norway is also, i mean, a petro state. the thing that fuels norwegian social democracy as well is a very tight and very restrictive and very isolationist immigration policy, is an enormous amount of oil money. according to calculations, while reserves will start tapering off -- according to particular report produced in britain, which potentially -- >> i have to cut you off there because the show is ending. >> sam is a good example of a person who cannot get his head around politics in the 21st century. if we are good to grips with international capitalism, we have to let people to have self-determination. that is what the referendum is about, not nationalism. ex vivo for scottish independence is on thursday,